Fantasy Football 2012: Breaking Down the Cincinnati Bengals

A fantasy football perspective on the team

What can the Cincinnati Bengals do for you this fantasy season? Check out Athlon Sports' team report as we break down the rookies, veteran players to watch and avoid, fantasy playoff schedule and more to help you get ready for the 2012 season.

Inside the Locker Room
with Keith Goheen, Freelance Writer

Can BenJarvus Green-Ellis flourish in a full-time workhorse role or will Bernard Scott finally deliver on his big-play potential?
The Bengals won’t ask Green-Ellis to be the prototypical workhorse back, not in the manner that Cedric Benson was used for the past few seasons. Green-Ellis is a better receiver out of the backfield, and the thrust of this offense is going to be through the air. The Bengals are banking on Green-Ellis to continue his production in the red zone and goal-to-go situations. Scott’s role could expand some, but he won’t get enough carries to be overly enticing to fantasy owners.

Who should owners target at wide receiver after A.J. Green has been taken?
The Bengals have several unproven candidates who could be worth a late-round investment. Rookie Mohamed Sanu caught 115 passes as a senior at Rutgers, but the Bengals also like fifth-round pick Marvin Jones. A sleeper choice? Former University of Cincinnati receiver Armon Binns, who spent most of last season on the practice squad.

Can Jermaine Gresham provide more than just touchdowns in this offense?
He started to show some of that last season and, with the lack of a proven No. 2 receiver opposite A.J. Green, Gresham will get more opportunities this season. He took a step forward in his overall game in 2011, but he’s got potential for much greater things.

Athlon's Best Bets

Sleeper: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB
Deep-Sleeper: Dan Herron, RB
Overvalued: None
Top Rookie: Mohamed Sanu, WR
Bounce-Back: None
Top IDP: Ray Maualuga, LB

2012 Draft Class

1. Dre Kirkpatrick CB 6-1 186 Alabama
1. Kevin Zeitler OG 6-4 314 Wisconsin
2. Devon Still DT 6-5 303 Penn State
3. Mohamed Sanu WR 6-2 211 Rutgers
3. Brandon Thompson DT 6-2 314 Clemson
4. Orson Charles TE 6-2 251 Georgia
5. Shaun Prater CB 5-10 190 Iowa
5. Marvin Jones WR 6-1 199 California
5. George Iloka S 6-4 225 Boise State
6. Dan Herron RB 5-10 213 Ohio State

Fantasy Impact: A.J. Green is set as the Bengals’ No. 1 receiver, but Mohamed Sanu could be the team’s No. 2 or No. 3 option this year. Orson Charles is still developing and will likely be Cincinnati’s No. 2 tight end behind Jermaine Gresham. Marvin Jones is a steady wide receiver and could earn snaps this season.

Fantasy Playoff Run: Weeks 14-16 (DAL, at PHI, at PIT)

This is probably one of the least desirable fantasy postseason schedules. Two of the three games are on the road. Fantasy championship week is at Pittsburgh — second-best against fantasy QBs, WRs and TEs in 2011. It’s not much better the previous week, as Philadelphia was in the top half against the three aforementioned positions as well.

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